CSSF publishes guide to safe container ship operations

Container ship. Credit: Port of Los Angeles

The Container Ship Safety Forum (CSSF) has published a new, free guide that sets out practices and procedures associated with safe container ship operations. 

The 54-page guide covers safety-relevant aspects such as navigation and bridge management, mooring, anchoring and towing operations, cargo operations, emergency preparedness, and maintenance and reliability. Safety Management Systems and the role of senior managers, shipboard or shore based, play an important role in the practices and procedures described.  

According to the CSSF, the guide is intended to be ambitious and help raise safety standards within the container sectorThe guide’s goal is to provide industry with suggestions on how to best implement safety processes. It does not offer prescriptive procedures or instructions, nor should it be used in that way, said the CSSF. 

It also does not include security, environmental, or crew welfare issues except where there are direct safety implications and is limited in scope to personal and operational safety. Practices and procedures detailed in the guide are purposely challenging, although they are already being pursued by the CSSF’s members in the vast majority of instances. 

The CSSF believes that the container ship companies that work towards the successful implementation of the practices described will indeed achieve improved safety and performance standards. 

“This guide is not an inspection or audit list, nor is it all-encompassing, but a living document that is to be updated regularly to reflect changing standards, requirements, and expectations,” said Aslak Ross, head of HSE & Marine Standards at Maersk Line and leader of the CSSF Management Board. 

The CSSF is an industry association launched in 2014 with the aim of improving safety performance and management practices in the container shipping industry. Its 24 members represent about 40% of the teu capacity of the global container ship fleet. An objective of the forum is to demonstrate that members consistently deliver high levels of safety performance.

The guide is available for download on the CSSF website www.cssf.global.